Mistake 13 – Restrictions and Limitations – Computer Skills | Tampa Bay Long Term Disability Attorney

Okay–so what do your computer skills have to do an Activity of Daily Living Form that the long-term disability/ERISA carrier has sent to you so you can get your long term disability benefits?

Two things! The first really involves what you do with your time. Can you sit at a computer? How long? Is that consistent with what you put on your form about your ability to sit or your need to alternate positions? How much are going to concentrate? And, of course, are you doing any medical research online about your condition?

The long-term disability/ERISA carrier is looking for discrepancies between what you say you can do and what your reported activity is – it’s like saying you can’t drive, but then driving 100 miles to go to Disney World.

Don’t be naive. Long-term disability and ERISA carriers are trolling the Internet looking at social websites to see if you have a posting, how often you post pictures of what your doing. Take them down immediately!

The second reason you’re asked questions about your computer skills have to do with whether or not you’re capable of working. If you can do is sedentary job sitting at a computer your employable and are no longer entitled to disability benefits.

You are going to be asked about your level of computer skills, whether you can do word processing, whether you use e-mail and how frequently you are on the computer.

Be truthful! But be consistent with the answers that you’ve put on the activity of daily living form about your ability to sit, stand, reach, bend, stoop, alternate positions, use of your hands and concentration. The long-term disability/ERISA carrier is looking for inconsistencies.

Questions about your computer skills are really trick questions. I suggest you consult an experienced long-term disability/ERISA attorney like Tampa Bay – based attorney Nancy Cavey as you answer these questions so that you do not jeopardize your long – term disability/ERISA benefits.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 12 – Restrictions and Limitations – Concentration | St.Petersburg Long Term Disability Lawyer

You’ve gotten another Activity of Daily Living Form to complete, and it seems like you just did one a week ago.

Do you have problems with concentration because of pain or side effects of medication? Are you claiming your disabled because of those problems?

Many jobs require a high level of concentration. You simply may not be able to work because you can’t concentrate on your job duties. How is a long-term disability carrier going to determine whether or not you’re just saying that just to get your long-term disability or ERISA benefits?

Well, for starters, the adjuster or a nurse for the long-term disability carrier will call you. They will try to determine, based on that conversation, what problems, if any, you’re having with concentration. You’ll be asked whether you can concentrate well, can you focus, are you having problems with your short-term or long-term memory and how often you experience concentration or focus problems. These are all open-ended type questions.

First, and of course, I do not suggest you speak with them as they will misinterpret and misconstrue your conversation with you.

When you fill out the activity of daily living form, I suggest that you speak with your doctor about any problems you’re having with concentration as a result of your pain or side effects of medication, so it’s documented in your medical records. Give the doctor specific examples and make sure that those medical records are consistent with what is being put on your activity of daily living form.

If you’re having problems concentrating, I suggest that you have someone help you fill out the form or that you try to do it a little bit every day and document the fact that you’re doing it in bits and pieces.

Please be aware that the insurance company will have their doctors evaluate your comments about your concentration and ask their doctors, whether problems with concentration is a known complication of your medical condition…

In some instances it may even be necessary to have psychological or neuropsychiatric testing to document the problems you are having with concentration. If you are asked by the long-term disability/ERISA carrier to have that kind of testing you should find an experienced long-term disability/ERISA attorney, like Nancy Cavey, as that is a clear signal that you’re being set up for denial.

If your long-term disability/ERISA claim is denied, medical evidence of problems with concentration can be developed to substantiate your complaints and document how your problems with concentration impact your ability to work. The development of the correct medical and vocational evidence during the appeal-process is crucial to the success of your claim.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 11 – Restrictions and Limitations – Pushing and Pulling | Tampa Bay Long Term Disability Attorney

You will be asked questions about your ability to push and pull by the long-term disability carrier. Why? I personally think these kinds of questions are really related to surveillance. What do I mean?

As I’ve explained, the long-term disability carrier compares your answers to what you reported to your physician and what surveillance shows about your activities. You will be asked questions about your ability to push and pull and give examples. You’ll be asked whether pushing or pulling increases your pain level, and how it increases your pain level.

You might say you can’t push or pull, but the long-term disability carrier may have pictures of you pushing a grocery cart without difficulty or pushing a lawnmower. They might even have pictures of you pushing a broom sweeping off your driveway. You can bet they’ll be taking that information back to your physician and asking whether or not you are capable of working.

You do need to tell the truth about your ability to push and pull. However, you need to explain that you attempt to stay within your physician’s restrictions, that you have good days and bad days, but there are days that you can do more than others. Make sure your answers are accurate and complete to these questions.

If you have any questions about how to fill out your long-term disability carrier’s Activities of Daily Living forms, please feel free to consult Nancy Cavey by calling 727.894.3188 or by visting www.caveylaw.com.

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Mistake 10 – Restrictions and Limitations – Use of your hands | St. Petersburg Long Term Disability Lawyer

Long Disability Carrier’s Activity of Daily Living form may ask you questions about the use of your hands.  These questions are particularly important if you are seeking disability benefits on the basis of such conditions as carpal tunnel syndrome. You can make crucial mistakes in completing your long-term disability forms!

You will be asked, “What is your dominant hand?”

The Activity of Daily Living Form that has been sent to you by the long-term disability carrier has all sorts of questions about what you can and cannot do. The ERISA carrier isn’t really interested about how your disability impacts you every day of your life. They are interested in your answers for the purpose of denying your claim.

If you are claiming disability based on problems with the use of your hands, you will  be asked whether or not you have the full use of your hands and fingers, have problems when you try to open a jar, button a shirt, unlock the door, write, type, or hold a coffee cup.

Think carefully before you answer these questions – think about how you use your hands from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night. What can you do? What can you do with difficulty? How long does it take you to do something requiring dexterity? Do you have to stop or start the activity? What symptoms does it cause? Do you have to use splints or braces? Do you have difficulty with the use of your hands when you bend, twist, or reach with your hands?

And, of course, make sure you explain who filled out this Activities of Daily Living Form!

Take the time to properly think through these answers before you complete the form. If you have any questions about completing the Activities of Daily Living form, consult an experienced long-term disability Attorney like Nancy Cavey.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 9 – Restrictions and Limitations – Squatting and Kneeling | Clearwater Long Term Disability Attorney

When you’re asked to give any statement by your ERISA/long-term disability carrier, you can be sure they’ll ask you questions about your ability to squat and kneel.

These questions will include:

1. Are you able to squat to sit in a chair, on the toilet, or to the floor?

2. If you squat, what symptoms do you experience?

3. Do you need assistance from someone or have to hold on to something to get back up from a squatted position?

4. Do you have to crawl to lift yourself up?

5. Can you kneel?

6. If you kneel, what symptoms do you experience?

7. What is your pain level?

8.  Do you need assistance to get back up from a kneeling position?

These questions are designed to see if your symptoms are consistent with your diagnosis and your reported limitations consistent with your degree of your disability.

Of course, if you are out washing your car and kneeling to clean the hubcaps or squatting or kneeling to pull weeds or plant flowers, long-term disability carrier will interpret those activities as being the equivalent of work activity. Don’t jeopardize your long term disability/ERISA benefits.

Be truthful about the extent of your physical activity both to your physician and a long-term disability carrier.

For help preparing for the long-term disability field visit or completing disability forms, contact Nancy L. Cavey at caveylaw.com

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Mistake 8 – Restrictions and Limitations – Lifting and Carrying, Bending and Twisting | Clearwater Long Term Disability Lawyer

It is important to prepare for your long-term disability statement or field visit by the long-term disability claims adjuster so you can get your long term disability/ERISA benefits.

Long term disability insurance companies like to ask broad, open ended questions which are hard to answer accurately, but which are traps for the unwary long-term disability claimant.

The questions you will be asked will include:

1. How much are you able to lift and carry?

2. Provide an example of something that you can carry it without being uncomfortable?

3. Have you lifted more than 10 pounds?

Why are you being asked these questions? If the long-term disability insurance company can shows that you can do a sedentary job, which requires less than 10 pounds lifting, they will take the position you are not disabled.

Please note that these questions don’t address how much you can lift without having symptoms, how much you can lift repetitively, how much you can with repetitively without becoming uncomfortable, and don’t take into consideration real-life lifting situations at the workplace.

Your answers will be compared against the surveillance film. If they catch you lifting more than what you said, they will play “gotcha!”

Your answers will be given to your doctor. The long-term disability carrier will say to your doctor, “She completed a statement that says she can lift and carry a maximum of 15 pounds.  Doctor, would you agree that she could work at a sit down job where she only had to lift 5 pounds?” What do you think your doctor is going to say?

I am sure that your lifting and carrying ability depends on the size of the object, its weight, whether you’re lifting it off the table, lifting from the floor, how many times you have to lift it, whether you have to bend and lift, twist and lift, or squat and lift.

You will be asked about your ability to bend and twist:

1. Can you bend at the waist to pick something up off the floor?

2. When you bend or flex toward the floor, what symptoms do you experience?

Most everyone has the ability to bend at the waist. Even my clients who have those kinds of problems would bend over to pick up a crying child regardless of how much pain they have. Isn’t that a dumb question?

You will be asked about your ability to twist:

1. Can you twist at the waist?

2. Can you twist to the right or left?

3. Can you twist or turn your head to the left or right?

4. What symptoms do you experience when you twist?

Of course, you can twist but you probably have limitations. Of course, the question is phrased in a way that you have to give an absolute black-and-white answer. Don’t fall for that trap! Don’t answer any question in absolute terms. Use ranges and estimates and make it clear that’s what you’re doing as you answer these questions. Never say that you can never do any physical activity. You’re setting yourself up if you do so.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

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Mistake 7 – Restrictions and Limitations — Standing | Clearwater Long Term Disability Attorney

As part of your long term disability statement about your restrictions and limitations you will be asked questions about your ability to stand. These will include:

1. What is the maximum number of minutes you can stand?

2. What happens after you stand that length of time?

3. What is your pain level when you stand for that long?

4. What symptoms or do you have when you stand for that long?

These are absolute questions but you really can’t give a hard and fast answer. I am sure that your ability to stand depends on whether you are having a good day or bad day, what you may have done the day before, and what medication you might be taking.

Interestingly, what’s not being asked is how you may have to alternate sitting or standing, how problems standing interfere with your ability to function, how long you can stand before you develop symptoms that interfere with your ability to engage in activities of daily living.

Aren’t those kinds of questions more relevant? As you can see, such broad-based questions are open to interpretation by you. Regardless of how you answer this question, make sure you qualify your answer so that you narrow the scope of this question.

Often, the disability insurance company will have surveillance film on you. If you say you can only stand for 15 minutes and they have film of you standing longer, you can be assured they will argue that you are not being truthful to your doctor about your abilities. They will question your doctor’s reliance on your statements about your physical abilities. Don’t fall into that trap.

Don’t be afraid to contact a long-term disability/ERISA attorney like Nancy Cavey to assist you in accurately answering questions about your restrictions and limitations so you can get your ERISA/long term disability benefits.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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